Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the State Visit of his Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama of the Republic of Botswana to the Republic of South Africa.
At the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, the President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, paid a State Visit to the Republic of South Africa from 5 – 6 October 2010.
His Excellency, President Khama, was accompanied by 7 Ministers, senior government officials and a business delegation.
During the State Visit, His Excellency, President Khama held official talks with President Zuma. The two leaders acknowledged the closeness of the peoples of the two countries in terms of cultural, linguistic and family ties, as well as geographical proximity. They reiterated the need for the two countries to mutually support each other in their endeavours to build a better future for all of their people, and to create opportunities which will ensure economic and industrial development leading to job creation and alleviation of poverty. Their Excellencies also recognised the social challenges the two countries face in relation to communicable diseases.
The Heads of State recognised the role of the Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation (JPCC) and the Joint Permanent Commission for Co-operation on Defence and Security (JPCSD) as providing a strategic platform for focusing efforts to bring about closer collaboration on issues of mutual concern. The two Heads of State took note of the progress reported on by the relevant Ministers following the recent JPCC. Under the auspices of the JPCC a wide range of Agreements are in operation, including Agriculture; Water; Transport; Environmental Affairs; Tourism; Trade; Aviation; Search and Rescue; Science and Technology; Health; Justice; Sport; and Arts and Culture. Bilateral talks covered all of these topics and were aimed at policy development and charting a course for the future, while taking into consideration the unique needs of each country.
In view of increased co-operation, and desiring to deepen the relationship between South Africa and Botswana, the Heads of State agreed to elevate the current status of the JPCC and the JPCCDS to that of an annual Bi-National Commission at Heads of State level.
The energy and water needs of South Africa and Botswana were discussed, as well as how the two countries can support each other in their requirements and the development of potential that exists.
The Presidents also made special mention of the excellent co-operation between the two countries on the establishment of three Transfrontier Parks, namely the Kgalagadi Park between South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, the Limpopo/Shashe between Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe and the Mapungubwe Park between South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The Transfrontier Parks represents an investment in the natural heritage for generations to come, and will contribute to attracting tourists to Southern Africa.
On regional and international issues, the two leaders re-affirmed their commitment to the goals and aspirations of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to bring about development, enhance trade and improve infrastructure in Southern Africa. The two countries recommitted to finalise all outstanding issues relating to the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union in order to conclude the EPA.
Following an official lunch, hosted by His Excellency, President Zuma, His Excellency President Khama joined President Zuma at Freedom Park in order to lay a wreath commemorating those who have dedicated and given their lives for the freedom of South Africa. It also gave President Zuma an opportunity to thank Botswana for its support during the liberation struggle, even at great cost to itself, as the Apartheid regime retaliated with bombings and attacks on the citizens of Botswana.
His Excellency, President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama addressed a Business Forum which brought together the business communities of the two countries in order to facilitate opportunities for investment and trade.
He also paid a courtesy call on former President Mandela.
His Excellency, President Zuma expressed South Africa’s gratitude to His Excellency, President Khama, for the support of the Republic of Botswana to South Africa before and during the hosting of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
His Excellency, President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, expressed gratitude to His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, the government and people of the Republic of South Africa for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.
His Excellency, President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama extended an invitation to His Excellency President Zuma to visit the Republic of Botswana.
His Excellency, President Zuma accepted the invitation, of which the exact dates are to be communicated through normal diplomatic channels.